On Wednesday, the Senate passed Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-LA) amendment protecting military veterans’ Second Amendment rights from Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) overreach.
During the end of Barack Obama’s second term as President, Breitbart News pointed to a Los Angeles Times report showing veterans’ concern over losing their 2A rights if they needed help managing their money.
According to the Times, “A strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs” meant that veterans “declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary” were reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS). The report to NICS meant they could not longer buy a firearm.
On July 25, 2019, Breitbart News reported that Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) were pushing legislation to prevent the VA from erasing veterans’ 2A rights.
Every day, servicemen and women fight to defend the rights endowed in our constitution. But, as veterans, those same men and women can be deprived of one of those rights by a government bureaucrat without due process. Even violent criminals are treated better than that. This is a disgrace and the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act would put a stop to it. By prohibiting VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans or their family members without a judicial ruling stating that they are a danger to themselves or others, this bill would ensure that the veterans who fought for our rights are guaranteed their own.
But various sources indicate Biden’s VA has continued reporting veterans to NICS.
For example, Fox News noted the policy still exists. “Under current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports a veteran’s name to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System when they seek help managing their finances in a conservatorship,” according to the report.
VA bureaucrats should NOT be unilaterally disarming veterans! 👏
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) October 25, 2023
National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Olivia spoke to Breitbart News about the issue, saying, “How’s this? It is unconscionable that the very agency that is charged with caring for the needs of these patriots continues to work against their interests and strip them of their Constitutional rights, simply because they need assistance managing their financial affairs. This practice isn’t tolerated for the rest of America but the Biden administration perpetuates this. It makes veterans distrustful of the organization that is meant to care for their health, including those who need mental health support.”
Kennedy put forth an amendment to stop the VA from continuing to target veterans’ 2A rights and it passed 53 to 45 on Wednesday.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) argued against the amendment, claiming it will allow “mentally incompetent” veterans to acquire guns.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.